Friday 12 January 2024

All the regulars still present (although one less Bass)

Mild, dry and overcast, the NE breeze switched to NW at lunchtime.

South shore - hight water 11:15 (MD)
Pale-bellied Brent geese 17 - flew to Red Nab, but today had been on the north shore first. Flew towards Potts Corner towards high water.
Shelduck 100
Wigeon 200
Eider 1 - it has a crab here.
Rock Pipit 1 along the sea wall
Grey Seal 2
This male has just caught a Bass. 
But they are messy eaters and it soon attracted the gulls

When the Cormorants started turning up too the seal disappeared with its catch
Seals can swim for several minutes underwater and it clearly headed off somewhere more secluded 

Meanwhile a female was by No.2 outflows - females have a pale skin with dark blotches, while males have a dark skin with pale blotches , sometimes when the blotches are particularly dense it is not always possible to tell if it is the skin or the blotch that is dark. But no ambiguity with this female.

Female Grey Seal

On the saltmarsh:
Common Snipe 33
Jack Snipe 1
Reed Bunting 3
Greenfinch 10
Linnet 35

Jef Gorse visited the area this morning
Very impressive wall full of oystercatcher, 
and spot the curlew, on the heliport sea wall.
Kestrel hunting over Heysham Head clifftops.

Treecreeper (not common here) in the grounds of St Peter’s Church where a sparrowhawk also whizzed through at the feeding stations in the garden. Snowdrops emerging into flower in the churchyard too.

Curlew in the fields behind Knowlys Road.

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
An evening check from the hill on the southern section 
Jackdaw 200+ but more dispersed today. Three medium sized flocks on the reserve plus still some nearer the village.
Stock Dove 15 seen going in to roost, but most were quite early and I could have missed some.
Glossy Ibis 1 seen lifting from its feeding ground at 16:30, then seemed to land again straight away. I waited a while longer but no more sign of it.

Just out of the recording area:
Ibis still going strong in the horse paddocks behind Middleton Parish Hall
Jeff Gorse